Marc-Andre Fleury might have been clear when he stated on Thursday that he’s hoping to stay with the Vegas Golden Knights in the near future, it might not put an end to the speculation that a return to the Pittsburgh Penguins could be in the cards.
“I want to stay in Vegas,” Fleury told The Athletic’s Jesse Granger . “I don’t know what the future holds, but I’ve loved every moment since I got here.”
“This team means a lot to me, and the city has been so good to me. The fans, and (owner Bill Foley) have been so awesome. It’s a great team, and I thought when I came here that maybe I could retire here. I wanted to end my career here.”
This might not stop his former teammates from contacting him to test the waters and see if a return to Pittsburgh could be an option. According to many sources (including Pittsburgh Hockey Now and Dans Les Coulisses in Montreal), Penguins players have gotten in touch with the goaltender to see how Flower feels about potentially putting on a black and gold jersey again.
The situation might not be any different in Pittsburgh for Flower however. While he quickly became the star goalie and starter in Vegas in their inaugural season, Fleury lost his job to Robin Lehner who was acquired by the Golden Knights at the past trade deadline. Lehner took over as the team’s starter during the postseason, which was tainted by Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh, who tweeted a picture of a sword inscribed with head coach Peter DeBoer’s name stabbing his client through the back.
This prompted many pundits to wonder if Fleury would get moved or even ask for a trade. The Knights are said to be closing in on a new deal with Lehner, a pending unrestricted free agent, which would make Flower a backup netminder for the franchise. However, he would most likely be a backup to Tristan Jarry in Pittsburgh as well…
“I get along great with Robin, so I think it would be all right,” Fleury said of another time-share in goal next season. “I still love to play. I don’t think I just want to be a backup, but I’ll practice hard, try to play well, and hopefully get some games, but it always comes down to the coach’s decision.
“Whatever happens, happens. And that’s fine. I’ll just try my best to come to camp in good shape and do well from there.”
You have to admit a Fleury-Penguins reunion sounds almost too good to be true, especially with the Pens’ lack of cap space to get him back on board. His former teammates might keep on calling, we doubt Flower will return to Pittsburgh.